30 September 2010
17 September 2010
14 September 2010
FC Seoul v. FC Daegu (maybe?), the North☆Arena fan section is not for the passive soccer enthusiast. You'd better be wearing your favorite athlete's jersey and the North Arena scarf, be prepared to paint your face and chest half red half black, and have enough energy to stand up and chant during the entire game (or at least hold one of the 500-won cardboard fan-clappers). Apparently, there is a weed-out selection process for gaining access to this highly-coveted and respected fan club. Prospective members must prove their knowledge of FC Seoul, specifically about the team members, by passing a test, probably in Korean, on the top secret North☆Arena website. Betcha Google Chrome could help a sista out.
13 September 2010
12 September 2010
Die-hard consumerism in Myeongdong, in which I happily partook when I accidentally-on-purpose stumbled upon the only size 31 x 34 jeans anywhere EVAR in a country of 25 x 28-sized women. After discovering that they actually fit & flattered, I did a little Happy Dance and screeched with glee, hugged the rare jewel tightly and proceeded to the check out line (but not before adding a couple of shirts, a skirt, and whale-print skivvies to the pile). Damage to the most recent paycheck was a surprisingly minimal 60,000 won (about $50), considering I'd have gladly paid that and then some for the jeans alone. But then! While messin around in a different store with these ridiculous 63,000-won tubes of fabric claiming to be, when twisted/belted/folded/knotted correctly, double-hooded scarves/dresses/skirts/togas, I kind of reversed my previous purchases by shoplifting a belt. A red, 1.5" wide woven belt, chosen to accessorize our fabric-tube experiments in the store, a thrift store-knockoff worth 51,000 won. This whole belt theft was, mind you, completely, 100% by accident. The belt is, you see, a Korean-size Medium (which is about equivalent to an American XS), and doesn't even fit around my ribcage. So even if I liked the thing, and wanted to use it for bisecting some top, I couldn't. What happened was, between experimenting Tube "Styles" on my new friend and fashion guinea pig (who is approximately 5'2", and whose ribcage is indeed a Korean M), I had draped the belt around my neck, using it as a convenient hanger, for the next Tube Style that called for cinching. When we'd enough made fun of/marveled at the absurdity/genius of marketing a one-yard length of fabric serged into a tube with a price tag of a round-trip train ticket across the country, we did one final lap around the store, minutes before closing, and sashayed out the door, saying goodbye to every last one of the 12 bored salespeople. Outside, we stopped at a street vendor, discussed our next move, and lingered at the entrance to the subway in the cooling summer Seoul evening, in no particular hurry to get anywhere. Only then, three crowded blocks from the store and 15 minutes past its closing, did I discover 51,000 won in the form of an unattractive belt dangling from my neck. Thus, a moral dilemma: do I keep the useless belt, hidden away in the closet, til I figure out which of my friends would don such an accessory? Do I take it back to the store, wearing it around my neck, attempting to explain to Korean employees (who doubtfully speak enough English to really understand what happened), risking shoplifting prosecution? Do I hide the thing in my bag, go back to the store, and sneak it onto the rack (or anywhere, really)? Subtlety isn't my strongest suit, so the third option probably isn't a good idea. Any insight will be welcomed and appreciated. Maybe you'll even get a free belt outta the deal.
09 September 2010
08 September 2010
07 September 2010
My date with John Irving and a beer was postponed this evening in favor of keeping my camera trained on an enormous, beautiful, long-legged, white & grey bird perched on a rock in the middle of the river, hoping to capture his take-off. By sunset, Bird settled in for the evening, so I got this one instead. Luckily, Mr. Irving gets to skip all that flirting, wining & dining; I'm takin him straight to the sack.
06 September 2010
Soon, yall, there will be new pictures of vegetation, bodies of water, the Seoul skyline, the mountains beyond, and funny Korean exercise equipment that is found in every green space. Because! This evening, while quenching the endorphin-thirst (by jogging, you pervs), and lookin around the new 'hood, I happened upon a Han River tributary edged with paved pedestrian and/or cycling paths, clusters of that funny exercise equipment (placed every kilometer), bridges, plenty of Koreans, tasteful folk art, and lots of generally picturesque scenery. On Sunday, some sparkly new camera will have my name all over it.
03 September 2010
Forget the broken trees, fallen power lines, and toppled parking lot booths after the category 2 typhoon Komapsu breezed through Korea yesterday. Someone's sweet ride was tossed about in the 60-mph winds the way a cat tortures a lizard just before it eats the head and leaves the mangled, lifeless body for Mum to find on the veranda the next morning, halfway devoured by greedy ants by the time she finds the sorry thing.
02 September 2010
Yes, yes, another boring food picture. However! The difference between this spread and my usual "haha suckas, look at the tasty Korean food I get to eat every day" is that I ordered it-- over the phone--in Korean! No small feat for an American expat whose only means of trying to learn Hangul include occasionally listening to various Extreme Beginner Level Zero podcasts such as Talk to Me In Korean and Korean Survival Phrases. To be completely honest, the only words I really needed to understand were "where?" and "how many?" and then slowly, slowly, painfully recite my scripted responses: "S****** Living ('lee-bing') Stell ('shtell') 2**-ho," the numbers in Korean, of course. The conversation lasted 30 seconds, after which I hung up the phone, unsure of whether or not, or even how long, I should wait for food to arrive. I'm mostly certain Korean Dude on the other end told me 30 minutes or something, but I was far too focused on listening for other recognizable information-gathering words. None of those words came, I don't reckon, but 2o minutes later, I was answering my video-doorbell thing and paying 4,500 won for my galbi-tang (beef & noodle soup), kimchi, and rice -- delivered in re-usable metal and plastic bowls, wrapped suctiony-tight with plastic, and with a metal spoon, disposable wooden chopsticks (that went promptly into the drawer), and a recyclable plastic single-serving-sized floral-print table/floor cloth. The bowls and utensils are not for keeping, mind you, they're for piling outside the door, dirty, for the delivery dude to quickly, stealthily, mysteriously retrieve at his convenience.
You can betchyer ass that when it's winter, and the streets are frozen over with layers of precipitation and the wind chill is -20°C, I will be ordering hot food delivered to my doorstep every day. OR when it's still summer, staying within the safety of my apartment, away from the scrutinizing glares of every last person who passes on the street, avoiding the sometimes awkward in-person solo-dining meal-ordering, cause who wants to deal with that and a sore throat?
Believe you me, this new-found delivery-request skill will be put to use in epic proportions. The next hurdles will be pizza, then McDonald's (just once, just cause I can, even if I'm not really into that kind of fooding), then coffee and sandwiches from Arista.
Now, if I could only find a gym with a proper squat rack...